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Delhi Court Fixes June 18 For Engineer Rashid’s Interim Bail Plea To Take Oath As MP

A Delhi court has scheduled June 18 to hear arguments on an interim bail application filed by Engineer Rashid. Rashid, arrested in connection with a 2016 Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case, seeks bail to take his oath as a Member of Parliament following the recent general elections.

Sheikh Abdul Rashid, widely known as Engineer Rashid, emerged victorious in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from the Baramulla constituency. Rashid, running as an Independent, defeated Omar Abdullah, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and vice president of the National Conference (NC).

Rashid, who is also a former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Union Territory, has been in jail since 2019. He faces charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the alleged terror funding case and is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought additional time to file a reply to Rashid’s interim bail application. Consequently, Additional Sessions Judge Chander Jit Singh postponed the hearing to June 18.

The NIA informed the court on June 7 that the notification for the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected Lok Sabha members had not yet been published. The judge noted that if the notification is issued before the next hearing, Rashid could request an expedited hearing.

In his application, Rashid requested either interim bail or custody parole to take his oath and fulfill his parliamentary duties. His detention stems from investigations linked to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested for allegedly funding terrorist organizations and separatists.

The NIA’s charge sheet in this case included several prominent individuals, such as Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin. Yasin Malik was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2022 after pleading guilty to the charges.

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